Why Are Sources of Folic Acid in Food So Important To Our Bodies?
Folic acid is an important B vitamin that bodies need for regulating the nervous system and supporting red blood cell production. Folic acid also helps prevent osteoporosis bone fractures, certain dementias and homo-cysteine build-up in the blood streams. It is most widely known for supporting healthy hearts and in maintaining health before and during pregnancy. Folic acid is vital in preventing neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida. Nowadays, most prenatal vitamins contain the primary ingredient of folic acid. If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, it is important to take a vitamin supplement that contains folate.
The body lets individuals know when they need more folic acid in their diets. High folate foods help with irritability, depression, insomnia, mental fatigue, forgetfulness, and gingivitis. They can also be a vital nutrient source for our skin. The most common folate-deficiency skin condition is seborrheic dermatitis. The creation of new skin cell growth is directly linked with the amount of folic acid that is maintained inside the body. Cancer patients are very susceptible to a low folic acid count as anticancer drugs like methotrexate deplete the bodies’ supply of natural folate.
If you find that you are not getting enough folic acid through food intake, take folate in the form of a dietary supplement. Folic acid is also called "pteroylmonoglutamic acid" in some generic supplements. Of course eating healthy is the best bet at maintaining the bodies’ inner workings, but sometimes it is necessary to supplement nutrients to acquire adequate amounts of this B vitamin.
What Foods Contain the Highest Amount of Folic Acid?
Surprisingly, there are a lot of sources of folic acid in food. Some of the highest folic acid containing foods include romaine lettuce, spinach, asparagus, turnip greens, mustard greens, calf’s liver, parsley, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, and lentils.
Other good food sources are squash, black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, papaya and string beans. Below is a listing of the folate nutrient count (measured in micrograms) per serving of each of these food sources.
It is important to note that fresh vegetables can lose about 40% of the folate nutrient during the cooking process. That is why steamed or boiled vegetables are best as they require minimal cooking time.
Excellent Sources Serving Size Folic Acid Nutrient Content (mcg)
- Romaine lettuce – 2 Cups 151.98
- Spinach, boiled – 1 Cup 262.80
- Asparagus, boiled – 1 Cup 262.80
- Turnip greens, cooked – 1 Cup 170.50
- Mustard greens – 1 Cup 102.76
- Calf’s liver – 4 – ounce 860.70
- Parsley, fresh, – 2 tablespoons 11.40
- Collard Greens, boiled – 1 Cup 176.70
- Broccoli, steamed – 1 Cup 93.91
- Cauliflower, steamed – 1 Cup 54.56
- Beets, boiled – 1 Cup 136.00
- Lentils, cooked – 1 Cup 357.98
To View Folate Density Nutrient Chart in Organized Table Form-Click on Icon to Zoom
Brocolli is an excellent high folate food source
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